ANDY BOULTON - TOKYO BLADE
💿 Hi, it's a pleasure for us to have on HARDROCKHEAVYMETAL ANDY
BOULTON of British legends TOKYO BLADE! You're Welcome!
Hi Giovanni, It’s a pleasure to talk with you.
💿 Your new full-length, your 10th studio album entitled DARK REVOLUTION, will be out on May 15th!! Would you describe your new fatigue?
Well I would say it's probably heavier and more aggressive than “Unbroken."
That wasn't a conscious decision I just write songs and see what comes out when I'm finished. I usually start with the drums and then see what comes into my head it's a fairly simple and straightforward process when my head is working right lol.
💿 Inside your songs what's the role of lyrics in the composition process? Words follow music or vice versa?
Well I have my own home studio so I more or less write the complete song.
Alan and I get together once a week and I play him the stuff I've done. He takes it away with him and writes the lyrics and melodies and the song is finished.
Alan is great at writing hooks and lyrics and he spends a lot of time making sure that they're all
Once that's done he comes over and records his vocals and the song is finished, so we move onto the next. We generally over write songs so we have more than we need for an album then we pick out the
ones that everybody likes the best.
💿 How much is complicated to make music at the time of a global
pandemy? How deep can it be the impact on our loved genre?
Well of course it's not possible for the band to get together at the moment, but being quarantined at home means that I've been able to be very productive.
As a matter of fact we already have about 12 songs for the next album, as far as the impact that COVID-19 will have onour genre apart from the cancellation of gigs and festivals I don't think it will make much difference.
Some years ago a record company guy told me "a record label needs heavy metal and hard rock bands
and country and western bands "
At the time I thought that was an odd thing to say and I asked him what he meant he said "heavy metal and country and western have the most dedicated fans in the world and always sell albums.
It's very different with pop bands, it's a case of here today and gone later
today with them".
Our fans and metal fans in general are one of the reasons we continue to make music even though we rarely see a penny from doing so.
Tokyo Blade do it for the fans, they are very loyal and have stuck with us through the good times and the bad and I can't say enough good things about them.
💿 We love the cover of DARK REVOLUTION. Can you tell us somethin'about?
Well my dearest friend Andrew Batchelor has done the last three album covers for me and is a very talented guy.
So for dark Revolution I just called him up and said "as it's a revolution, I see a clenched fist and we need to get the idea of revolution and breaking free from the bullshit of politics and depression I'm going to leave
it in your hands see what you can do with that".
So the next thing is he sends me this fantastic idea which Iabsolutely loved, the guys in the band loved it too.
We all liked it,immediately so that of course is what we went for.
💿 On our pages we're "true defenders"of physical music, because we think that a CD or vinyl provide a complete experience that goes beyond single songs. What's your opinion about?
I couldn't agree with you more 👍 MP3s are shitty things, the quality is bad and it makes piracy really easy. That's why bands these days don't earn any money, even the big guys are giving their albums away free.
So the only way they can make money is by the massive ticket prices, which is a shame for the real fans who have bought their CDs and vinyl albums since they became fans of the band I think it really sucks but the benefits of digital products also have their drawbacks and we are stuck with that I guess, unless the aliens visit our planet and give us some new technology that can't be copied 😂 But also some shitty download doesn't give you anything physical for your money, no sleeve, no pics or lyrics, why the fuck
would anyone not want something tangible that they can hold in their hand? Thanks to you for defending the music too.
💿 Your new album will be out on Dissonance Productions/Plastic Head. Can you tell us somethin'about partnership with them?
Originally Plastic Head approached us to do our merchandise, which I was more than happy with as merchandise is very expensive and you can be stuck with loads of stuff you haven't sold which means you'reout of pocket.
None of us guys are rich, we are normal guys who do normal jobs and we can't afford to pay massive amounts of money for merchandise without being able to guarantee that we can sell it all.
So the next thing they asked if we would like to do a new album? That was easy for us as I have my own studio and in fact most of “Unbroken" was recorded here.
So I went to their offices to meet the boss and I was blown away by how big their operation is.
They have three massive warehouses bursting with merchandise, CDs and vinyl they're also very, very professional and easy to work with so itmade sense for us to sign up with them.
💿 Can you tell us somethin'about your fist approach with music? Which bands or artists influenced you the most?
To be honest it was my mother who first inspired me to be a musician. She was an incredible pianist and was blessed with the gift of perfect pitch so she could hear something once and play it perfectly. That was
really amazing to witness, almost supernatural.
My father also encouraged me and gave me a violin which I didn't really take to luckily for the everybody's ears lol.
My mother bought me my first guitar and both my dearest parents encouraged me.
I made quick progress with the help of a chord book and I inherited some of my dearest mum's gift for pitch, though not to her ability.
I grew up listening to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Free, thin Lizzy and Queen.
I got into some of the later bands UFO, Bad Company, AC/DC etc. they were all my main influences.
💿You shared stage with many bands and artists. Who were the craziest?
I guess it was probably Ozzy, he has that reputation, though he seemed pretty ok at the Breaking Sound festival.
I don't think we witnessed much craziness from other bands . . . we made our own craziness lol.
💿 Can you tell us somethin about the early times of the band? Whythe change of the moniker from previous GENGHIS KHAN and what's the matter of these references to JAPAN?
The Japanese theme obviously came from the bands name, we do have an interest in Japanese culture however the main goal is to create good memorable songs.
The name Tokyo Blade came about during a band meeting when as usual we were struggling to come up with a name for the band.
Alan wanted to call the band "Blade Runner" and I wanted to call the band "Tokyo" we suggested combining some of the names that we had thought up and I came up with Tokyo Blade everybody seemed to like it and we stuck with it.
We were called Genghis Khan as you know, that was the name of Alan's first band and we decided to change it as there was some confusion when we played at a place in London called the Ruskin Arms where Iron Maiden started.
They used to sometimes play there just for fun under the name of Genghis Khan and people would
turn up for our shows thinking it was Iron Maiden lol.
💿 For you, such as many other bands born in NWOBHM years, there’s an underground but loyal following. Did you expext that after many years?
I'm always amazed that Tokyo Blade is still going strong and still loved by many fans old and new.
I think the most surprising thing isthe new fans, especially the young fans.
After all we're all in our60s and I never expected to be playing Tokyo Blade songs at my age.
Having said that In my opinion if you're a true musician and highly creative you never stop being that way. As I said my mother passed some of that gift to me, it's in my DNA I can't change it or even
imagine being anything other than a musician, I'll play guitar and write for as long as I can . . . it's been my whole life after all.
💿 Thank you so much for your time! See you soon on
Thank you for taking the time to interview me and I'd just like to say a big thanks also to all our fans and all the fans of our genre.
In these strange times y'all stay safe and be well
GODBLESS YOU ALL.